「有物先天地 無形本寂寥 能為萬象主 不逐四時凋」
英國哲學家懷德海著的「觀念的探險」（”Adventures of Ideas” by Alfred North Whitehead, February 1861 – December 1947），便說明這些。
值得一提的是，哲學上的體，也就是物自體，佛法叫做「自性」，自性本空，也就是並沒有一個實際東西叫「體」。這就難怪德國大哲康德（Immanuel Kant, April 1724－February 1804）說：「物自體是不可知的。」然而透過佛法，特別是禪宗的証量，就可証到物自體究竟是什麼。究竟是：
德國哲學家叔本華（Arthur Schopenhauer，February 1788－September 1860）說：人類歷史，翻開一頁，就知道全部，無非是欺騙、掠奪和屠殺。
尚德曾試圖研究、了解與投身於西洋發軔的自由民主，翻譯過英文本「革命的剖析（”The Anatomy of Revolution” by Crane Brinton, 1898 - September 1968）」、「開放的社會及其敵人」（”The Open Society and Its Enemies” by Karl R. Popper, July 1902 – September 1994）、「自由的哲學」（”The philosophy of freedom” by Robert K. Woetze, December 1930 – September 1991）、「到奴役之路」（”The Road to Serfdom” by Friedrich Hayek, May 1899 – March 1992）等深談自由民主的書。因此，特地向各位報告一點我對這方面的認識。
My hope for the future of Mankind
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Good morning, everyone:
【Commonalities of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism】
It is my great pleasure to visit your esteemed country Myanmar to discuss the relevant issues of reformation and revival of Buddhism together with many friends from India, which to my knowledge is a very significant event.
Sakyamuni Buddha was enlightened under the Bodhi tree. He said:
“All beings have the possibility to attain the wisdom and perfectness of Buddha. But they were too attached to delusions to get enlightened.”
Buddha realized that the origin of all existence lies in emptiness while emptiness manifests all origins. The gathering and disappearing of karma are subject to conditioning. Finally He also denies the "non-conditioning, non-naturalism," and goes to the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva's Dharma, which is:
“To unite above and gain strength of compassion equal to that of all Buddhas.”
“To unite below and gain a kind regard for six types of living beings."
To arise all ideas naturally, show their utilization very leisurely within the scope of Samadhi and eventually regress to their innately everlasting happiness and pure land.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We, three countries - Myanma, India and China -, have always been Buddhist countries in our long history, and ever since its propagation to China, Buddhism has been playing key roles and having significant impacts on Chinese thought as well as people’s life. Nowadays China is more actively in restructuring and revival of Buddhist culture.
The mainstreams of Chinese culture prior to Qin dynasty (221-206 BC) were Confucianism and Taoism of which their philosophical roots are derived from the I-Ching (the Book of Changes).
The fundamental thought of I-Ching is:
“The successive movement of the inactive and active operations constitutes what is called the course (of things).
That which ensues as the result (of their movement) is goodness;
That which shows it in its completeness is the natures (of men and things).”
“I-Cheng” eventually regresses to its unity and origin, which is:
Purity, calmness, precision, fineness.
(Qie Jing Jing Wei in Chinese).
Therefore, Confucians, referring to their main concept, emphasize heavily on the final goal of pure goodness and the consistent track of Tao. Taoism also said: “all things are comprehended in their unity” and “The greatest benevolence is like the nature of water, which is close to Tao”. Thus, both Confucian and Taoist stress the culture of goodness in their primitive teachings.
While Confucians aim at “contentment in all places”, Taoists on the other hand try to reach a realm of liberation in the universe and wander in leisure beyond the extreme.
So when Indian Buddhism propagated to China, it well matched with Chinese Confucianism and Taoism. Moreover, Indian Buddhism has been moving forward, flowering and fruiting in China. Buddhism eventually returns to benefaction and Samadhi which coincides with the purpose of Confucianism and Taoism.
Buddhism was introduced to China during the reign of Emperor Ming in Han dynasty (28－75). After metaphysical debate in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (220—589), Jiaxiang Jícáng (549－623) of three Sastras sect and Huiyuan (334－416) of the Pure Land sect of Buddhism arise. At that time, some famous writers such as Tao Yuanming and Xie Lingyun often visited Patriarch Huiyuan in the Lushan. Tao Yuanming also left a poetic verse:
"Beside the stone bridge in the East of River Hushi,
Knocking the door in the night to visit Master Yuan,
Heavenly moonlight silence everything,
Meditating half verse and transcending all. "
Till the Sui (581—619) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, the monarchy system of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, such as Tiantai School and Huayan School, was completely set up. Their doctrines have deeply affected the Chinese humanities and civilization in academic field since then; one example is that Professor. Thomé H. Fang (1899-1977,) a contemporary philosopher, finally found he cohered with the Avatamsaka Sutra and delivered lectures on an immortal book of “Philosophy of the Avatamsaka Sutra School”.
Another example is the grandmaster Nan Huai-Chin (1918-2012) who made every effort to integration of Buddhist thought, especially in the part of Chan and Consciousness. Therefore I and my friends in these years, have done our best to research and study in the field of Consciousness philosophy (Vijnaptimatra), trying to integrate Dharmas with thoughts of civilization of many countries and of ancient and modern time. We hope to construct a unity and empirically feasible system of ideology.
As to the establishment of Chinese Consciousness systems, it is worth mentioning about Tang Xuanzang who once left China for the famous Buddhist learning center at Nalanda Monastery of India to study Buddhism; Nalanda’s ruins after revival efforts is now offering academic courses, I strongly believe that the profound Mahayana Buddhism Tang Xuanzang brought back to China from India will return to India sooner or later.
The grandmaster Xuanzang returned upon graduation with 657 Mahayana and Hinayana texts. Afterward, under support of the Emperor Taizong (598-649) of Tang, he translated 75 scriptures. Once completed translation of “Discourse on the Stages of Yogic Practice” (Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra) in 100 volumes, he presented to the Emperor Tang Taizong and was greatly praised:
“All texts, scriptures, doctrines and theories of various kinds from other schools when compared with the Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra are like a drop of water inside the sea."
Again, Tang Taizong spoke very highly of him:
“His purity and nobility exceed the cedar in winds and the moon in water;
His elegance and grace surpass the fairy dewdrops and the bright pearls.”
In reforming Buddhism the most important thing is to reestablish the monarchy system, under which monks could concentrate on their studies with no interruption or discontinuation on their monarchy operating resources. An idealistic monarchy is only of pure people, pure things and pure matters and is compliant with the fundamentals and doctrines of religion and academic curriculum of modern civilization. In a long term it is fairly anticipated that we may have more first class monks with great insights, pragmatic practices and achievements from such monarchies.
Then, I like to speak out loudly here: “What ultimately is Dharma?”
Dharma starts with an individual’s self-examination and corroboration of his human body and mind, and full understanding his own definition on the subjective and objective world. Descriptions such as idealism, materialism, and/or the unity of mind and matter, etc., are purely linguistic terminology, yet unfortunately hardly touch the ultimate and genuineness of self-existence.
Buddha Dharma is an inconceivable realm. It is with neither dominator nor creator.
The so-called " inconceivable realm ", which refers to people not only go through but also go beyond awareness, sensory, and rational judgment and other superficial aspects in order to understand the subjective and objective of their own physical body and mindset; Once transcended, an everlasting happiness and pure land of solemnness and tranquility will naturally appear.
In the doctrines of Buddhism, there are three categories of universes, which are the multiple universes of desire, form and formlessness. From the perspective of some Buddhist theory, the world demonstrated by Huayan Sutra, is the gallery of Bodhisattva Maitreya. The gallery is boundless and limitless, extremely gorgeous in its scope.
The pure land described in Amitabha Sutra, is in a realm of boundless peace, solemnness and nobleness.
Whether it is Mahayana Buddhism, Pratyeka-buddhayana or Theravada, each shows its own inconceivable realm. Indeed, Buddhism shows the inconceivable realm. Once propagated to China, it joined together with "Beyond the description, seasons rotates and creatures of being born” 「天何言哉，四時行焉，百物生焉。」of Confucian thought and “all things are comprehended in their unity” 「道通為一」 of Taoism.
There are many approaches to achieve this inconceivable realm, the most important one is:
" Transcendence of words and thoughts”
Well said by the grandmaster of Bodhi-Dharma:
" Ceasing all external conditions, being free from internal turbulence,
with a steel heart, you can enter into the realm of Tao.”
As all of existences has been united into one, and further be transcended, the universe as well as all of existences such as people, matters and material in the world shall be surpassed. This leads to an experience of the internal sublime bliss and the revelation of ontological light, if “holding Qi (炁) and stopping vibrations” approach is so applied.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is worth noting that the grandmaster Nan Huai-Chin of China said:
"Confucianism is like a food shop, Taoism is like a pharmacy store, and Buddhism is like a department store."
Based on the aforementioned, my understanding is:
"Confucianism lives in and maintains all of all; Taoism lives in and adjusts all of all; Buddhism lives in and transcends all of all."
People have their inherently own metaphysical domain, so the 6th Patriarch Hui-neng of China said after enlightened:
Just like the self-nature is innately self-purified;
Just like the self-nature is innately not in a birth and death;
Just like the self-nature is innately complete in itself
Just like the self-nature is innately immovable;
Just like the self-nature is able to perform million laws.
Once accomplished the aforementioned, it would certainly be in correspondence to Tao of Chinese tradition.
What ultimately is the Tao?
Lao-Tzu and Vimalakirti said:
"Tao or Truth cannot be put in plain words, it is inexplicable."
Non-dual Dharma transcends words. That is the most supreme and upmost truth.
Tao is nowhere but everywhere.
"There are things mixed, congenital exists; I do not know its name, I name it Tao."
There is a Chan poem to describe Tao:
"There is something prior to the existence of heaven and earth. It is invisible and lonely. Master all things, but not fall in four seasons."
Once Sakyamuni Buddha was lecturing at Lingshan (Spiritual Mountain), He picked up a flower and held it speechlessly and attempted to imply in a subtle way that:
“I have the right dharma which is hidden in the mysterious wonderful world of Eye.
It is Nirvana and ontological Mind; They are an ultimate reality which is formless; At this time, I deliver all of these to Maha-Kashapa. ” 「吾有正法眼藏、涅槃妙心、實相無相、付囑摩訶迦葉。」
Further He said:
“Dharma arises from non-dharma. 法本法無法
Non-dharma interacts with dharma. 無法法亦法
Now I preach the non-dharma, 我說無法時
When everything is transcended, dharmas and non-dharmas are merged and surpassed.
【Differences between Eastern and Western Civilization】
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Here I recall that
Harvard University Professor Huntington (1927-2008) in the summer of 1993, in "Foreign Affairs" journal, presented an article "The Clash of Civilizations," claiming that the root cause leads to mankind's wars is not an ideological reason, it is primarily due to a clash of civilizations
He was wrong for two reasons:
First, historically, it was always ideology (consciousness) that drives and leads to various movements, not the opposite way.
The same views were also stated by a British philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead (1861 –1947), in his book entitled "Adventures of Ideas".
Take zero of coordinates in geometry for example. Without concept of zero, it is very fair to say that there can be no mathematics. In actual practice, there is no such thing that can be termed zero. As for Buddhism, especially most classic sutras of Mahayana are referring to emptiness. In reality, object or material has to go through the process of arising, abiding, ceasing and then emptiness; thus there is no other practical object or material that is empty from the beginning. As stipulated in many classic sutras and doctrines of Buddhism, emptiness is not there and has to be transcended.
It’s worth mentioning that thing-in-itself, the philosophical “essence”, is known in Buddhism as “self-nature” which is originally empty. That is, there is not any actual thing known as “essence”. No wonder that great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) said: “Ontological entity is unknowable.” However, by Buddhist realization, especially that of Chan School, it’s possible to witness what exactly thing-in-itself is. Exactly,
All dharmas in themselves are emptiness.
Moreover, Shakyamuni Buddha said that all existences are steered by an extremely subtle profound-mystery, which is:
Buddha said: “The Adana-vijnana, which is extremely profound and subtle, proceeds with all the seeds (Bija) like a violent torrent.”
Adana-vijnana is the origination, process, transformation and fruition of all existences, and embodies unclear consciousness of human beings. Its development also contains goodness, wickedness and material elements.
The vast difference between East and West Civilizations is the ideological interpretation on the origination of existence. Western tradition believes in the creature of God; Buddhism considers it not to be dominator or creator but Adana-vijnana; China regards it as the Tao of Yin-Yang.
Second, difference of civilization often brought about war in the past. The problem is that humankind is an inseparable bunch due to the development of scientific civilization in the 21st century. If the clash of modern civilizations continues, the destiny of humankind will be disastrous. Not to mention the apocalyptic nuclear war, even continual pollution will ruin the earth.
The identification and difference of civilization are usually composed of mental and material perfumation. Especially, the habit energies form seeds, and the seeds transform into manifestly operatings. This is known as that “manifestly operatings perfume seeds, and seeds produce manifestly operatings”. The promising development of humankind in the future must be built on the seeds and manifestly operatings of good civilization.
Humankind should not sustain the clash of civilizations. The way out is that all people in the world abides each other to constitute a harmonious society of cooperation, symbiosis, coexistence, communion, and common prosperity.
Only in this way humankind can have future and hope.
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 -1860) said:
"Simply open one page of history and you know it all, it is nothing but deception, looting and killing."
Part of History demonstrated like such. But in the twenty-first century, the transpiration of the whole world is highly developed. Travelling hours are reduced and one can easily go to visit any nations for a short period of time. In addition, because of the progress of science and technology, all kinds of material development are getting similar everywhere in the world. The knowledge and applications of science and technology are shared and correlated closely. All of these state a fact that we live in the same world. There is only one World and only one Earth. All of humanity lives in the same field of the Earth. We are Earth Person as well as Universe Person. Actually we share the same things, the same noumena and the same heart. We are in one universe and on one earth, so we are one family. Sharing the same destiny in the future, we are the world and will still be the families certainly.
In the past, many conflicts, wars, plunder, and deception happened all the time due to the differences of civilizations. It was a pity for all human beings. However, the progress of modern civilization has shown that it is no longer possible to resolve the clash of civilizations by waging a war as people did in the past. War only leads to destruction. Without peace, mankind has nowhere to go in the future.
【Build a harmonious society of coexistence, sharing and prosperity】
The doctrines of all sages at all times and all places are built on the ideals of peace. Sakyamuni Buddha in India and Lao-Tzu in China all place emphasis on no dispute. So Buddhism said:
All dharmas are in equality without differentiation.
In the Annals of "Spring and Autumn" written by Confucius, It is commented that there was no war for justice in spring-autumn period (770-476 B.C.). Confucius also opposed the warfare.
According to him, there were 36 regicides incurred and 52 kingdoms subjugated in 242 years during the Chinese Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.).
Besides, Jesus took a heavy task upon salvation to save people and was executed by crucifixion. That is the real style of no dispute. All of great politicians and scientists stress this point. Einstein (1879-1955) believed that the universe is a harmonious existence. Only the one without dispute can live in harmony. Gandhi (1869-1948) in India and Nelson Mandela (1918-2003) in South Africa, both fought for world peace and justice in their style of Truth and Beauty.
Buddhism always promotes peace. The primary foundation of peace is that human beings are mentally sound. Sakyamuni Buddha said:
Put down all worries. Remove greed, hatred and stinginess. Fight against self but not against others. Accept the truth and return to Amazing Joyfulness. Always correspond to one’s own Majesties and Quiescence, diligence, thrift, tolerance and accommodation for all. Treat people as sisters and brothers and all things as my kinds. Be honest with people, things and matter. Treat all living beings as family members. Love others as if they were ourselves and our own children.
Then, the World is naturally in peace.
A country shall not borrow money more than its government can actually pay off, and its government cannot just print white papers into money for living. People must know where their positions are and what outcomes can be expected from the past experiences before taking any actions, thus they can live peacefully.
In the future, one should be clear-minded and rational. Not go along with flattering people and yes-man. But look for somebody with character, style and wisdom (such as wisdom of types of paths 道種智, wisdom of comprehensiveness 一切智 and wisdom of omniscience 一切智智) to operate and govern the world. In this way, humans can have future and hope.
The attitude of knowing of Socrates’ “I do not know anything; I only know that I do not know anything”, and the method of understanding of Confucius’ “Holding what you really know and allowing what you really don’t know --- this is understanding” are very important to remove one’s own ignorance, arrogance and fantasy. Thus, the uneasy and dissatisfaction of human beings are mainly due to the composition of their ignorance, arrogance and fantasy.
Many Buddhist and Taoist ascetics who did not receive primary school education and basic family affection, especially some were even orphans. Those ascetics with a modest attitude had a deep perception and examination on themselves, found out ultimately who and what they are, perfected their personality and eventually became knowing-all wise men.
When the essence of civilization is deteriorating in this dynamic era, the future of mankind is in jeopardy pessimistically unless opportunities are rendered to those wise men and sages who could turn out to be the mainstay and saviors of the world; if not, the world will still be full of vulgarities, robberies and killings with no doubt.
【Democracy, Freedom and Peace】
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I once tried to study and understand Western liberty and democracy in its beginning stage and devoted myself to translating many English books related to liberty and democracy in depth into Chinese, such as "The Anatomy of Revolution " (by Crane Brinton, 1898 - September 1968), " The Open Society and Its Enemies" (by Karl R. Popper, July 1902 - September 1994), " The philosophy of freedom " (by Robert K. Woetze, December 1930 - September 1991), and " The Road to Serfdom "(by Friedrich Hayek, May 1899 - March 1992). Therefore, I like to share with you my thought on this subject:
If freedom and democracy are manipulated and controlled by clans, political parties and consortia, or if people just become voting tools, such kind of freedom and democracy is indeed meaningless.
The purpose of democracy and freedom is simply to achieve an open, justice, dignity and globe love of society, and let people enjoy peaceful life.
Unfortunately ever since Marx and Engels published the Communist Manifesto In 1848, the communist revolution has no great solutions to the peace of humanity. In the period of time, Europe as well as America was devoted to the development of a so-called "free and democratic society". Again, other than moving upward to a high degree of commercial exploitation, they simply could not find a society of righteousness, justice, freedom and democracy. According to Russian communist leader Lenin, the governmental system which is currently employed by major countries in the world still has its authenticity, that is:
"Imperialism is the highest stage of Capitalism."
There are many countries around the world now, and because of their narrow-geographical nativism, traditional prejudices, and economic exploitation and malfunction of government administrative system; the shadow of imperial capitalism and capitalistic imperialism has not been disappeared; among them, the United States is the worst.
More importantly, what I want to say is:
The climax of human essence of Chinese culture is to let all of people have equal treatment universally in a society of freedom and democracy, as described in "Liyun datong" - a book chapter of thousands of years ago in China.
“When the Great Tao (perfect order) prevails, the world is like a Commonwealth State shared by all people; selecting and appointing the wise and capable men; Honesty and trust are promoted, and good neighborliness cultivated.”
What the United Nations wishes to accomplish for its set-up purpose, is coincidently identical to the ultimate goals of the essence of ancient Chinese culture. This is also what China is now fully striving for.
In realization of the essence of freedom and democracy, people shall enjoy life of freedom, justice and co-sharing, which is the same as the Buddhist’s Six Harmonies （六和敬 - 身、口、意、戒、見、利）. That is, a unity of manner, chanting, idea, practices of purity, view and benefits. This can also serve as a good reference to the real freedom and democracy for the mankind. Further, if people from different countries can learn and practice the Buddhist Six Harmonies in their daily life. The world shall be then in peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Seeking and maintaining world peace is the inherent responsibility of every person on the Earth. War just ruins everything and cannot resolve any problems. While there are noticeable differences in civilization among countries in this world, we should strive to seek common grounds in all of the different aspects, such as propaganda and reinforcement of ideological education of world peace, the establishment of a common world language, the correct outlook on life for mankind, a truly humane system of equality and a harmony, reasonable and courteous administrative structure. Freedom and democracy must be implemented in a real and fair legal system.
Without a sound legal system and democratic mechanism, it would bring negative impacts vividly upon people’s life; Failure to select the wise and capable public servants leads to abuse of absolute power and ends up with an absurd and ridiculous election. It becomes a fake freedom and democracy to deceive and fool around the masses. At the same time, it is to satisfy utilitarian interests of individuals or political parties which indeed is one of the greatest evils.
If a free democratic system can be regarded as an authority, this authority shall never become a tool to deprive and exploit a co-owned, co-shared and harmonious society that is entitled to the public. Therefore, it is not possible to achieve genuine freedom and democracy, a sound social system and humane life, without awaking of the moral self-consciousness. Human being has a born nature of benevolent consciousness.
Morality is the foundation of human life of the community.
Benevolent consciousness and benevolent practice are fundamental elements of human’s behavior.
Materialism has to be adhered to the code of ethics.
Philosopher Immanuel Kant of Germany said:
Moral is the supreme law of human being.
Therefore importation of a selfless, civic and moral education seriously for community service to freedom and democracy or other political system shall be the sole way for the whole human being.
Economic systems of each country in the world should also be assisted, protected and supervised under the mechanism of the United Nations, of which countries collaborate with a global concern in protection, conservation and utilization of the natural resources on Earth, as well as the economic and financial development, exchange and consumption to maintain a continuing stability worldwide. Thus, a peaceful world can be fairly anticipated. This is the only way out for the mankind in the future.
As our world is in peace, Buddhism and all religions are then stable with no turmoil.
In maintaining and developing the world peace, everyone is able to go back to the noble humanity, that is, "do all of all for others and be benefited from others; dare not impose on others the undesired, and render to others only the desired“; Thus everyone has a chance to enter an innate realm of enlightened wisdom of the supreme truth, Benefaction and Beauty. Any of these three virtues has its own unique characteristics and independent natures, yet these three virtues can be well united into one sublime.
It is true that all of existence is real or true, and all of truth is within our sights all the time. Transcend the conformity of ultimate of existence harmoniously and delightfully is called Beauty; cherish and appreciate Truth and Beauty is call Benefaction. Truth, Benefaction and Beauty, can be regarded as either three in one sublime or one in three virtues; The entire human race and society do have the ability and opportunity to create a world of Truth, Benefaction and Beauty, here comes the very moment, it is time to seize the opportunity.
However if human keeps repeating in errors as of the previous history which involve with more warfare, oppressions and robberies, injustice and disorders, then I do not know what humans eventually all end up with.
Shall there is no noble, feasible and achievable ideal for our people and society, what the future of the common destiny of mankind would be?
Well said by Sakyamuni Buddha and the holy sages in the world,
It depends all on human’s consciousness and cultivation.
People are innately clear-minded and bright as in the light.
Chinese Taoist says: “Conformity of the light and the dust.”(合光同塵)
Confucianism advocates: the great person match with the sun and the moon in its brightness. (大人者，與日月合其明)
In the first chapter of John Gospel in the New Testament of Christian, St. John says:” That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Dharma also advocates the great and endless light.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Let us all strive to live up to the enlightened wisdom of the light, and let us be with the supreme, the greatest and the foremost Buddha’s Light forever.
As I come from the universe, from the earth, and I am one of human beings; I surely love the universe, love the earth and love mankind.
Here I am,
Of course I love Myanmar,
Myanmar has always been a peace loving and noble country, and an adorable, respectable and amicable neighbor of China.
I hope that mankind enjoys peace forever and every human being has a noble life.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this special occasion, it reminds me of Dr. Sun Yat-sen of China, who passed away during the Western imperialistic aggression of the world, he said, “We must ally ourselves in a common struggle with those peoples of the world who treat us on the basis of equality. We need Peace, struggle, and to save China.“
I hereby urge:
Let's struggle for peace to save the whole Mankind.
In conclusion, I want to reiterate that:
(1) The studies of Consciousness-only is the unification of various thoughts and philosophies and the sole resolution to help reach the world peace;
(2) We need only peace, and we don’t want any wars at all;
(3) We absolutely don’t want any exploitation; and
(4) Our ultimate goal is to build up a humane system of rationalness, justice, equality and courtesy.
Note by Gaozheng
This text above is the transcript of Master Chang's keynote speech at 'Myanmar-China-India Buddha Dhamma Forum for Research, Collaboration and Future Development' in Myanmar last December. It was read by Mrs. Tien-Yi Ho at the opening ceremony of the conference.